Probate Lawyers for Rochester, MI

Probate Lawyers for Rochester, MI

Are you planning for your own future or need help probating a deceased loved one’s estate? If so, having experienced legal representation in probate can make the process more straightforward and less stressful. When you need legal assistance to maintain control of finances through estate planning or probate, turn to Bingham Legal Group. Contact us for an initial case review with a probate lawyer serving Rochester, Michigan, and let’s discuss your needs in detail. 

Understanding Probate Law

Probate law governs the process of gathering, managing, and distributing a deceased individual’s assets as overseen by a probate court. Michigan’s probate laws determine how to govern a decedent’s estate and identify the parties entitled to inherit from the estate. While probate can be a complicated and time-consuming process, individuals and families may undertake estate planning in advance to avoid probate or make the proceedings more manageable. Trusts and estates law gives people and families numerous options for managing and protecting assets and facilitating the distribution of those assets to heirs or beneficiaries. 

Types of Estate Planning and Probate Matters Our Michigan Attorneys Can Help You With

The probate, estate, and trust lawyers of Bingham Legal Group provide people in Rochester, Michigan, with an array of estate planning services. Here are a few critical probate and related matters we can help you with:

  • Wills: Wills, which form the foundation of an estate plan, allow you to nominate executors for your estate or guardians for your minor children and direct the distribution of your assets after your death.
  • Trusts: Trusts enable families to protect wealth and prevent death taxes, so they have more to hand down through the generations. 
  • Powers of Attorney: With a durable power of attorney, you can nominate a trusted family member or friend to manage your personal, legal, and financial affairs if you become incapacitated and unable to do so yourself. 
  • Advance Care Directives/Living Wills/Healthcare Powers of Attorney: You can nominate someone to serve as your healthcare proxy to make medical and end-of-life decisions for you if you become incapacitated while living wills and advance care directives communicate your treatment/end-of-life care preferences or wishes to your healthcare proxy and medical providers. 
  • Beneficiary Designations: Accounts like IRAs, annuities, and life insurance policies allow you to pass on funds to loved ones through beneficiary designations. 
  • Special Needs Trusts: If your family has a loved one with special needs, a trust can help you protect their finances and obtain government benefits and resources for their long-term care. 
  • Medicaid/Long-Term Care Planning: Long-term care planning, including establishing Medicaid trusts, can ensure you have the financial resources to afford assisted living or nursing home care in your final years. 

Our probate lawyers have over 60 years of combined legal experience handling the specific, including:

  • Estate Administration: We can help you handle your loved one’s final affairs efficiently and with the utmost respect. From filing the will through the probate court to settling debts and distributing assets according to the will or state law, we can do the heavy legal lifting so that you can focus on your loved ones.
  • Probate Litigation: Litigation may become necessary if disputes arise over the validity of a will or the distribution of assets. Our skilled probate litigation attorneys can help you contest a will, resolve disagreements with beneficiaries, or deal with executor misconduct.
  • Trust Administration: Trust law imposes fiduciary duties on trustees, including managing and distributing trust assets, preparing and filing taxes and other legal documents, and communicating with beneficiaries. Our guidance helps you fulfill your responsibilities while minimizing potential legal and financial pitfalls.
  • Trust Litigation: Disputes among beneficiaries, allegations of breach of fiduciary duty, or disagreements regarding the interpretation of trust documents may all give rise to trust litigation. Our legal team can represent your goals and pursue a resolution that aligns with your interests.

Why Choose Bingham Legal Group for Your Probate Needs in Rochester Hills?

The probate process is a complicated one, and it can be overwhelming to attempt to handle alone. Hiring an experienced probate attorney can help you through the complexities and challenges of settling a loved one’s affairs while avoiding legal surprises. Here are just a few reasons you should turn to Bingham Legal Group for help with your probate matters:

  • Personal touch: At Bingham Legal Group, you will work with the same attorney throughout the estate planning process or probate. We will take the time to listen to your story, get to know you and your family, and understand your needs and goals so we can offer tailored legal solutions. 
  • Flexibility: We are a small firm that offers the close connection with your legal counsel that you deserve. Our attorneys take a collaborative approach to each client’s case, so you benefit from our collective knowledge and experience. 
  • Efficiency: We provide practical legal strategies and solutions for clients’ estate planning and probate needs without the additional costs of larger firms. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Probate in Rochester, Michigan

Below, you’ll find the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions about probate and estate administration.

What does the Michigan probate process entail?

Probating an estate begins with the filing of a petition in probate court to either admit the deceased’s will to probate and appoint an executor or, if there’s no will, appoint an administrator to manage the estate. The executor or administrator must then gather the deceased’s assets, pay debts and taxes, and ultimately distribute the remaining assets to the rightful heirs or beneficiaries according to the will or state law.

How long does the probate process take in Michigan?

The average estate takes about six to 12 months to complete probate. While small estates may wrap up more quickly, a larger, more complex estate can take several years to probate. Other factors can also influence the duration and timeline of probate, such as:

  • The size of the estate and the complexity of the estate’s assets
  • Whether the decedent died with a will
  • The extent of the decedent’s debts and any ongoing legal disputes over those debts
  • Applicable estate taxes
  • Whether the estate includes property located outside of Michigan
  • Whether any interested party launches a will contest to challenge the validity of the will
  • Other probate litigation, such as petitions to remove an executor/administrator

Do I need a will to pass assets after my death?

A will allows you to direct the disposition of assets in your estate at your death. If you die without a will, Michigan’s intestacy laws identify the family members entitled to inherit from your estate, regardless of how you might have wished to pass along assets. Some people choose to avoid probate court or simplify the probate process by putting their assets in a trust. Assets placed in trust leave your estate and do not pass through probate. Instead, the trustee will manage and distribute trust assets per the trust document’s terms. 

Remember, your priorities, goals, and wishes may also change as you grow older and experience life milestones. You may need to update your will and estate plan regularly to reflect your new situation. 

Contact Our Estate Planning Attorneys Today

If you need help resolving financial matters during estate planning or probate, the seasoned team with Bingham Legal Group can guide you through your rights, options, and obligations. Contact our firm today for an initial consultation to learn how an estate planning attorney serving Rochester Hills, Michigan, can help you protect your and your family’s wealth and future. 

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